Now Playing: TWITTER TIPS FROM JOE
TWITTER TIPS FROM JOE
Zebra 3 Report by Joe Anybody
Sunday, 29 January 2012
TWITTER TIPS FROM JOE ANYBODY
Now Playing: TWITTER TIPS FROM JOE
TWITTER TIPS FROM JOE
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
Foxconn - Apple Computers - worker hand crushed and he has never used the i-phone
Mood: accident prone
Now Playing: foxconn - deaths injuries and under age - did I miss anything?
Topic: CORPORATE CRAP
Apple's Chinese factories to be audited after violation of working conditions
Local HR practice blamed, but suicides, long working hours and disciplinary wage deductions give cause for concern
The man's hand is twisted into a claw, crushed, he says by a metal press at the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, where Apple's luxury electronics are assembled. He is looking at an iPad – he has never seen one switched on. His mangled hand strokes the screen, bringing it to life.
Back at the factory, where the buildings are swathed in nets after 12 workers committed suicides in a single year, a young girl emerges from the gates. Her job is to clean the iPhone screens before they are packaged. She says she is 13.
These are a few of the many shattering images in performer Mike Daisey's account of his 2010 visit to China. After hearing about the Foxconn suicides, he determined to meet members of Apple's largest subcontracted workforce.
What he discovered ultimately led to the firm's announcement this month that it would throw open its factories to independent auditing by the Fair Labor Association (FLA). A non-profit group founded in 1999 after sweatshop scandals, it already audits Nike, Adidas and H&M. Apple is its first tech industry member.
"In high tech to date there hasn't been anything like external independent assessment, which is what makes Apple's decision such big news," says FLA president Auret van Heerden.
Apple has been auditing itself since 2007. Working hours are a major issue. In China, 12 and 16 hour shifts are common. In 2008, 82% of factories violated Apple's limits – a 60 hour week with no less than one day off. By 2011, the number was 68%. In 2008, half violated wages codes by deducting salary as a disciplinary measure, or not providing pay slips. The figure was 30% last year.
Apple has ordered retribution. Factories discovered employing children must return the youngsters to their families, fund their education and continue to pay their factory wage too. Employers have been made to reimburse wage deductions and settle unpaid overtime.
But six active and 13 historical cases of underage labour were discovered at five factories last year. Mandatory pregnancy tests were imposed at 24 Apple facilities.
When Daisey visited, he found worker dormitories where people slept in bunks stacked five or six high, so closely there was no room to sit. There were cameras in the rooms, in the corridors.
He found workers whose hands shook uncontrollably by their late 20s because of repeating the same motions at the same production line post, year after year.
The FLA visited China at Apple's request on a test project in 2010, following the Foxconn suicides. Van Heerden describes what he found: "The whole campus has got excellent facilities. The problem is that [it] still doesn't touch the human being inside. You are at a work station all day – you can't talk to anyone else.
"Then you go back to your dorm and you might not know anyone there either, they might not even speak the same dialect. You are in a situation where you might go days without anything resembling human contact."
He seems to suggest that in China at least, the problem is less about basic human rights and more about HR.
Foxconn has much to learn about human resources, judging by a recent comment from the chair of its parent company, Hon Hai Precision Industry. Terry Gou told an end of year party, at which the director of Tapei Zoo was asked to share his management techniques: "Hon Hai has a workforce of over one million and as human being are also animals, to manage one million animals gives me a headache".
Managing its supply chain will for now remain one of Apple's biggest headaches.
Sunday, 15 January 2012
Drug War Anaylsis by Lew Rockwell
Now Playing: Americas Longest Ongoing War: The Race War on Drugs
Topic: FAILURE by the GOVERNMENT
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
"The drug war is not to protect the children, save the babies, shield the neighborhoods, or preserve the rain forests. The drug war is a violent campaign against black men and by extension the black family, among many others." ~ Wilton D. Alston, "How Can Anyone Not Realize the War on (Some) Drugs Is Racist?" LewRockwell.com (June 24, 2011)
John W. Whitehead
After more than 40 years and at least $1 trillion, America’s so-called "war on drugs" ranks as the longest-running, most expensive and least effective war effort by the American government. Four decades after Richard Nixon declared that "America’s public enemy No. 1 in the United States is drug abuse," drug use continues unabated, the prison population has increased six fold to over two million inmates (half a million of whom are there for nonviolent drug offenses), SWAT team raids for minor drug offenses have become more common, and in the process, billions of tax dollars have been squandered.
Just consider – every 19 seconds, someone in the U.S. is arrested for violating a drug law. Every 30 seconds, someone in the U.S. is arrested for violating a marijuana law, making it the fourth most common cause of arrest in the United States. Approximately 1,313,673 individuals were arrested for drug-related offenses in 2011. Police arrested an estimated 858,408 persons for marijuana violations in 2009. Of those charged with marijuana violations, approximately 89 percent were charged with possession only. Since 1971, more than 40 million individuals have been arrested due to drug-related offenses. Moreover, since December 31, 1995, the U.S. prison population has grown an average of 43,266 inmates per year, with about 25 percent sentenced for drug law violations.
The foot soldiers in the government’s increasingly fanatical war on drugs, particularly marijuana, are state and local police officers dressed in SWAT gear and armed to the hilt. These SWAT teams carry out roughly 50,000 no-knock raids every year in search of illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia. As author and journalist Radley Balko reports, "The vast majority of these raids are to serve routine drug warrants, many times for crimes no more serious than possession of marijuana... Police have broken down doors, screamed obscenities, and held innocent people at gunpoint only to discover that what they thought were marijuana plants were really sunflowers, hibiscus, ragweed, tomatoes, or elderberry bushes. (It’s happened with all five.)"
No wonder America’s war on drugs has increasingly become an issue of concern on and off the campaign trail. Back in 1976, Jimmy Carter campaigned for president on a platform that included decriminalizing marijuana and ending federal criminal penalties for possession of up to one ounce of the drug. Thirty-six years later, the topic is once again up for debate, especially among Republican presidential contenders whose stances vary widely, from Ron Paul who has called for an end to the drug war, to Govs. Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman who have said that states should be allowed to legalize medical marijuana without federal interference, to Rick Santorum who has admitted to using marijuana while in college but remains adamantly opposed to its legalization.
Americans are showing themselves to be increasingly receptive to a change in the nation’s drug policy, with a Gallup poll showing a record-high 50% of Americans favoring legalizing marijuana use, nearly half of all Americans favor legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use, 70% favoring legalizing it for medical purposes, and a 2008 Zogby poll which found that three in four Americans believe the war on drugs to be a failure. "As an active duty jail superintendent, I've seen how the drug war doesn't do anything to reduce drug abuse but does cause a host of other problems, from prison overcrowding to a violent black market controlled by gangs and cartels," said Richard Van Wickler, the serving corrections superintendent in Cheshire County, N.H. "For a long time this issue has been treated like a third rail by politicians, but polls now show that voters overwhelmingly agree that the drug war is a failure and that a new direction is sorely needed."
A growing number of law enforcement officials and national organizations are also calling for an end to the drug wars, including the US Conference of Mayors, the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which includes former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, former US Secretary of State George Schultz, and former presidents of Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil, and the NAACP. In fact, at their national convention in July 2011, the NAACP voiced their concern over the striking disparity in incarceration between whites and blacks, particularly when it comes to drug-related offenses.
In terms of its racial impact, the U.S. government’s war on drugs also constitutes one of the most racially discriminatory policies being pushed by the government in recent decades, with African-Americans constituting its greatest casualties. As the ACLU has reported, "Despite the fact that whites engage in drug offenses at a higher rate than African-Americans, African-Americans are incarcerated for drug offenses at a rate that is 10 times greater than that of whites." Indeed, blacks – who make up 13% of the population – account for 40% of federal prisoners and 45% of state prisoners convicted of drug offenses.
Moreover, a November 2011 study by researchers at Duke University found that young blacks are arrested for drug crimes ten times more often than whites. Likewise, a 2008 study by the ACLU concluded that blacks in New York City were five times more likely to be arrested than their white counterparts for simple marijuana possession. Latinos were three times more likely to be arrested. The Drug Policy Alliance and California NAACP released a report claiming that between 2006 and 2008 "police in 25 of California's major cities arrested blacks at four, five, six, seven, and even 12 times the rate of whites."
This disproportionate approach to prosecuting those found in possession of marijuana is particularly evident in California, where black marijuana offenders were imprisoned 13 times as much as non-blacks in 2011. In fact, between 1990 and 2010, there was a 300% surge in arrests for marijuana possession for nonwhites. As the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice concluded, "California’s criminal justice system can be divided into two categories with respect to marijuana: one system for African-Americans, another for all other races."
Thus, while the government’s war on drugs itself may not be an explicit attempt to subjugate minority groups, the policy has a racist effect in that it disproportionately impacts minority communities. Moreover, the origins of drug prohibition have explicitly racial justifications. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, prohibitionists clamoring to make drugs illegal tapped into common racial prejudices to convince others of the benefits of drug prohibition. For example, opium imports to America peaked in the 1840s, with 70,000 pounds imported annually, but Chinese immigrants did not arrive in large numbers until after the 1850s. Thus, Americans were using opium in copious amounts before Chinese immigrants arrived. Once they arrived however, they became convenient scapegoats for those interested in making opium illegal. Prohibitionists portrayed opium smoking as a habit below the respectability of "white" men. In a similar manner, marijuana was later associated with blacks, Latinos, and jazz culture, making marijuana an easy target for prohibition.
Yet despite 40 years of military funding to eradicate foreign drug supplies, increased incarceration rates, and more aggressive narcotics policing, the war on drugs has done nothing to resolve the issue of drug addiction. Consumption of cocaine and marijuana has been relatively stable over the past four decades, with a spike in use during the 1970s and 80s. And a European Union Commission study determined that "global drug production and use remained largely unchanged from 1998 through 2007." In fact, the only things that have changed are that drugs are cheaper and more potent, there are more people in prison, and the government is spending more taxpayer money.
So what’s the solution?
As Professor John McWhorter contends, problems of addiction should be treated like the medical problems they are – in other words, drug addiction is a health problem, not a police problem. At the very least, marijuana, which has been widely recognized as medically beneficial, should be legalized. As a society, we would be far better off investing the copious amounts of money currently spent on law enforcement in prevention and treatment programs. Of course, the pharmaceutical industry doesn’t want marijuana legalized, fearing it might cut into its profit margins. However, as California has shown, it could be a boon for struggling state economies. Marijuana is California’s biggest cash crop, responsible for $14 billion a year in sales. Were California to legalize the drug (it legalized medical marijuana in 1996) and allow the state to regulate and tax its sale, tax collectors estimate it could bring in $1.3 billion in revenue. Prior to the Obama administration’s crackdown on the state’s medical marijuana dispensaries, which has cost the state thousands of jobs, lost income and lost tax revenue, California had been raking in $100 million in taxes from the dispensaries alone.
As Neill Franklin, the executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition who worked on narcotics policing for the Maryland State Police and Baltimore Police Department for over 30 years, remarked in the New York Times:
In an earlier era it may have been a smart move for politicians to act "tough on drugs" and stay far away from legalization. But today, many voters recognize that our prohibition laws don’t do anything to reduce drug use but do create a black market where cartels and gangs use violence to protect their profits.
While some fear that legalization would lead to increased use, those who want to use marijuana are probably already doing so under our ineffective prohibition laws. And when we stop wasting so many resources on locking people up, perhaps we can fund real public education and health efforts of the sort that have led to dramatic reductions in tobacco use over the last few decades – all without having to put handcuffs on anyone.
I have spent my entire adult life fighting the war on drugs as a police officer on the front lines. I have experienced the loss of friends and comrades who fought this war alongside me, and every year tens of thousands of other people are murdered by gangs battling over drug turf in American cities, Canada and Mexico. It is time to reduce violence by taking away a vital funding source from organized crime just as we did by ending alcohol prohibition almost 80 years ago.
The goals of reducing crime, disease, death and addiction have not been met by the "drug war" that was declared by President Nixon 40 years ago and ramped up by each president since.
The public has waked up to the fact that we need to change our marijuana laws. Savvy politicians would do well to catch up.
Saturday, 14 January 2012
Be ahead of the crackers and hackers and use good paswords
Now Playing: Password Tips - Security and Peace of Mind
Topic: SMILE SMILE SMILE
Secure Passwords Keep You Safer
By Bruce Schneier
Ever since I wrote about the 34,000 MySpace passwords I analyzed, people have been asking how to choose secure passwords.
My piece aside, there's been a lot written on this topic over the years -- both serious and humorous -- but most of it seems to be based on anecdotal suggestions rather than actual analytic evidence. What follows is some serious advice.
The attack I'm evaluating against is an offline password-guessing attack. This attack assumes that the attacker either has a copy of your encrypted document, or a server's encrypted password file, and can try passwords as fast as he can. There are instances where this attack doesn't make sense. ATM cards, for example, are secure even though they only have a four-digit PIN, because you can't do offline password guessing. And the police are more likely to get a warrant for your Hotmail account than to bother trying to crack your e-mail password. Your encryption program's key-escrow system is almost certainly more vulnerable than your password, as is any "secret question" you've set up in case you forget your password.
Offline password guessers have gotten both fast and smart. AccessData sells Password Recovery Toolkit, or PRTK. Depending on the software it's attacking, PRTK can test up to hundreds of thousands of passwords per second, and it tests more common passwords sooner than obscure ones.
So the security of your password depends on two things: any details of the software that slow down password guessing, and in what order programs like PRTK guess different passwords.
Some software includes routines deliberately designed to slow down password guessing. Good encryption software doesn't use your password as the encryption key; there's a process that converts your password into the encryption key. And the software can make this process as slow as it wants.
The results are all over the map. Microsoft Office, for example, has a simple password-to-key conversion, so PRTK can test 350,000 Microsoft Word passwords per second on a 3-GHz Pentium 4, which is a reasonably current benchmark computer. WinZip used to be even worse -- well over a million guesses per second for version 7.0 -- but with version 9.0, the cryptosystem's ramp-up function has been substantially increased: PRTK can only test 900 passwords per second. PGP also makes things deliberately hard for programs like PRTK, also only allowing about 900 guesses per second.
When attacking programs with deliberately slow ramp-ups, it's important to make every guess count. A simple six-character lowercase exhaustive character attack, "aaaaaa" through "zzzzzz," has more than 308 million combinations. And it's generally unproductive, because the program spends most of its time testing improbable passwords like "pqzrwj."
According to Eric Thompson of AccessData, a typical password consists of a root plus an appendage. A root isn't necessarily a dictionary word, but it's something pronounceable. An appendage is either a suffix (90 percent of the time) or a prefix (10 percent of the time).
So the first attack PRTK performs is to test a dictionary of about 1,000 common passwords, things like "letmein," "password1," "123456" and so on. Then it tests them each with about 100 common suffix appendages: "1," "4u," "69," "abc," "!" and so on. Believe it or not, it recovers about 24 percent of all passwords with these 100,000 combinations.
Then, PRTK goes through a series of increasingly complex root dictionaries and appendage dictionaries. The root dictionaries include:
The phonetic pattern dictionary is interesting. It's not really a dictionary; it's a Markov-chain routine that generates pronounceable English-language strings of a given length. For example, PRTK can generate and test a dictionary of very pronounceable six-character strings, or just-barely pronounceable seven-character strings. They're working on generation routines for other languages.
PRTK also runs a four-character-string exhaustive search. It runs the dictionaries with lowercase (the most common), initial uppercase (the second most common), all uppercase and final uppercase. It runs the dictionaries with common substitutions: "$" for "s," "@" for "a," "1" for "l" and so on. Anything that's "leet speak" is included here, like "3" for "e."
The appendage dictionaries include things like:
AccessData's secret sauce is the order in which it runs the various root and appendage dictionary combinations. The company's research indicates that the password sweet spot is a seven- to nine-character root plus a common appendage, and that it's much more likely for someone to choose a hard-to-guess root than an uncommon appendage.
Normally, PRTK runs on a network of computers. Password guessing is a trivially distributable task, and it can easily run in the background. A large organization like the Secret Service can easily have hundreds of computers chugging away at someone's password. A company called Tableau is building a specialized FPGA hardware add-on to speed up PRTK for slow programs like PGP and WinZip: roughly a 150- to 300-times performance increase.
How good is all of this? Eric Thompson estimates that with a couple of weeks' to a month's worth of time, his software breaks 55 percent to 65 percent of all passwords. (This depends, of course, very heavily on the application.) Those results are good, but not great.
But that assumes no biographical data. Whenever it can, AccessData collects whatever personal information it can on the subject before beginning. If it can see other passwords, it can make guesses about what types of passwords the subject uses. How big a root is used? What kind of root? Does he put appendages at the end or the beginning? Does he use substitutions? ZIP codes are common appendages, so those go into the file. So do addresses, names from the address book, other passwords and any other personal information. This data ups PRTK's success rate a bit, but more importantly it reduces the time from weeks to days or even hours.
So if you want your password to be hard to guess, you should choose something not on any of the root or appendage lists. You should mix upper and lowercase in the middle of your root. You should add numbers and symbols in the middle of your root, not as common substitutions. Or drop your appendage in the middle of your root. Or use two roots with an appendage in the middle.
Even something lower down on PRTK's dictionary list -- the seven-character phonetic pattern dictionary -- together with an uncommon appendage, is not going to be guessed. Neither is a password made up of the first letters of a sentence, especially if you throw numbers and symbols in the mix. And yes, these passwords are going to be hard to remember, which is why you should use a program like the free and open-source Password Safe to store them all in. (PRTK can test only 900 Password Safe 3.0 passwords per second.)
Even so, none of this might actually matter. AccessData sells another program, Forensic Toolkit, that, among other things, scans a hard drive for every printable character string. It looks in documents, in the Registry, in e-mail, in swap files, in deleted space on the hard drive ... everywhere. And it creates a dictionary from that, and feeds it into PRTK.
And PRTK breaks more than 50 percent of passwords from this dictionary alone.
What's happening is that the Windows operating system's memory management leaves data all over the place in the normal course of operations. You'll type your password into a program, and it gets stored in memory somewhere. Windows swaps the page out to disk, and it becomes the tail end of some file. It gets moved to some far out portion of your hard drive, and there it'll sit forever. Linux and Mac OS aren't any better in this regard.
I should point out that none of this has anything to do with the encryption algorithm or the key length. A weak 40-bit algorithm doesn't make this attack easier, and a strong 256-bit algorithm doesn't make it harder. These attacks simulate the process of the user entering the password into the computer, so the size of the resultant key is never an issue.
For years, I have said that the easiest way to break a cryptographic product is almost never by breaking the algorithm, that almost invariably there is a programming error that allows you to bypass the mathematics and break the product. A similar thing is going on here. The easiest way to guess a password isn't to guess it at all, but to exploit the inherent insecurity in the underlying operating system.
Saturday, 31 December 2011
Sunday, 25 December 2011
Zen Christmas - A Story Zen Style
Now Playing: Merry Zen Christmas
Topic: SMILE SMILE SMILE
A Christmas Story: Zen Style
It seems in Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan, there is a small monastery where the master is illiterate. The teacher was a farmer’s son and he had been taken to the temple when he was very young. He had never learned to read or write but he completed the koan study and came to complete enlightenment.
The teacher didn’t really know other religions except Buddhism, he scarcely realized until he heard the monks discussing Christianity. One of the monks had been to the University of Tokyo and the teacher asked him to explain Christianity.
“I don’t know that much about it,” the monk said. “But I will bring you the holy book of the Christian religion.”
The master sent the monk to the nearest city and the monk returned with the Bible.
“That’s a thick book,” the master said, “and I can’t read. But you can read something to me.” The monk thumbed through the pages and started with the story of baby Jesus and the three wise men.
The monk knew the Bible and then read the Sermon on the Mount. The more he read the more the master was impressed. “That is very beautiful,” he kept saying. “That is very beautiful.” When the monk finished the sermon the master said nothing for a while. The silence lasted so long that he monk put the Bible down, got himself into the lotus position and started meditating.
“Yes,” the teacher said finally. “I don’t know who wrote that, but whoever he was, he was either a Buddha or a Bodhisattva. What you read there is the essence of everything I have been trying to teach you here.”
moral: we become what we have been subjected to. We are who we are as a direct influence of our environment growing up. We later learn of other cultures and religions, traditions and ways of life. By this time we are pretty much set in our ways but can always learn from what others do. Be open minded.
Friday, 23 December 2011
Veterans Peace Teams to stand with Occupy Movement
Now Playing: Vets and Peace and the fact that police are hurting occupiers
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
Information [links] from "Diary of a Waking Buterfly"
Mood: not sure
Now Playing: Links and Tags
LINKS AND TAGS
Antonio Gramsci Barack Obama Capitalism Christianity Class Consciousness Democracy Egypt Fascism Film Gender Germany Imperialism Ireland Islam Jesus Karl Marx LGBTI Liberalism Libya Links Love Martin Luther King Jr Marxism Materialism Music Poetry Propaganda Quotes Race Racism Religion Repression Resistance Revolution Sexism Sexuality Socialism Solidarity State Terrorism Utopianism Video Vision War
Friday, 16 December 2011
Obama allows the congres to call America a battlefield
Now Playing: Obama: Principles in favor of Politics
Topic: FAILURE by the GOVERNMENT
Obama and his loss of Principles in favor of Politics
This copy is for your personal, noncommercial use only.
Politics Over Principle
The trauma of Sept. 11, 2001, gave rise to a dangerous myth that, to be safe, America had to give up basic rights and restructure its legal system. The United States was now in a perpetual state of war, the argument went, and the criminal approach to fighting terrorism — and the due process that goes along with it — wasn’t tough enough.
President George W. Bush used this insidious formula to claim that his office had the inherent power to detain anyone he chose, for as long as he chose, without a trial; to authorize the torture of prisoners; and to spy on Americans without a warrant. President Obama came into office pledging his dedication to the rule of law and to reversing the Bush-era policies. He has fallen far short.
Mr. Obama refused to entertain any investigation of the abuses of power under his predecessor, and he has been far too willing to adopt Mr. Bush’s extravagant claims of national secrets to prevent any courthouse accountability for those abuses. This week, he is poised to sign into law terrible new measures that will make indefinite detention and military trials a permanent part of American law.
The measures, contained in the annual military budget bill, will strip the F.B.I., federal prosecutors and federal courts of all or most of their power to arrest and prosecute terrorists and hand it off to the military, which has made clear that it doesn’t want the job. The legislation could also give future presidents the authority to throw American citizens into prison for life without charges or a trial. The bill, championed by Republicans in the House and Senate, was attached to the military budget bill to make it harder for Mr. Obama to veto it.
Nearly every top American official with knowledge and experience spoke out against the provisions, including the attorney general, the defense secretary, the chief of the F.B.I., the secretary of state, and the leaders of intelligence agencies. And, for weeks, the White House vowed that Mr. Obama would veto the military budget if the provisions were left in. On Wednesday, the White House reversed field, declaring that the bill had been improved enough for the president to sign it now that it had passed the Senate.
This is a complete political cave-in, one that reinforces the impression of a fumbling presidency. To start with, this bill was utterly unnecessary. Civilian prosecutors and federal courts have jailed hundreds of convicted terrorists, while the tribunals have convicted a half-dozen.
And the modifications are nowhere near enough. Mr. Obama, his spokesman said, is prepared to sign this law because it allows the executive to grant a waiver for a particular prisoner to be brought to trial in a civilian court. But the legislation’s ban on spending any money for civilian trials for any accused terrorist would make that waiver largely meaningless.
The bill has so many other objectionable aspects that we can’t go into them all. Among the worst: It leaves open the possibility of subjecting American citizens to military detention and trial by a military court. It will make it impossible to shut the prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. And it includes an unneeded expansion of the authorization for the use of military force in Afghanistan to include indefinite detention of anyone suspected of being a member of Al Qaeda or an amorphous group of “associated forces” that could cover just about anyone arrested anywhere in the world.
There is no doubt. This bill will make it harder to fight terrorism and do more harm to the country’s international reputation. The White House said that if implementing it jeopardizes the rule of law, it expects Congress to work “quickly and tirelessly” to undo the damage. The White House will have to make that happen. After it abdicated its responsibility this week, we’re not convinced it will.
Thursday, 8 December 2011
10 best - PDX burgers places worth mentioning
Now Playing: Vegetarians Please ....dont read this
Topic: ANYBODY * ANYDAY
The top 10
classic burgers in the Portland area
Published: Friday, December 09, 2011, 5:47 AM Updated: Friday, December 09, 2011, 5:49 AM
But the hamburger we crave doesn't resemble these at all. What we want is the classic, a grilled patty, melted cheese and fresh veggies on a toasted bun.
All across Oregon, from tiny trailers next to busy roads to hidden restaurants in downtown office buildings, burger joints selling quality versions of the classic burger are alive and well. Many of these roadhouses, taverns and former drive-ins have been there for decades. Others are new, but have a throwback look.
Last month, we asked Oregonian readers for their favorite basic burgers. The reaction was overwhelming, with more than 100 different suggestions for Oregon and southwest Washington drive-ins and roadhouses coming in via email, phone calls and online comments.
We broiled down that list, narrowing our parameters to burgers within the metro area that cost less than $8. We also threw out any that hedged too close to bistro burger territory. And then we ate.
Craving a classic burger? Hop in the car and try one of our 10 favorites.
1. HELVETIA TAVERN
Set in a bucolic landscape with rolling hills and babbling brooks across a winding road from a donkey farm, Helvetia Tavern is two miles north of U.S. 26 in Washington County -- but feels like it could be a thousand miles away.
Longtime manager Mike Hutchins calls Helvetia Tavern a special place.
"We get a little bit of everyone out here," he says. "You can run into the high-tech Intel guy sitting next to the farmer out here. Who doesn't like a cheeseburger?"
That cheeseburger is about as close to burger perfection as you can find: a soft sesame-seed bun, a thin burger patty with light char and a hint of pink inside (harder than it looks with thinner patties), melted American cheese, thinly sliced tomato, onions, shredded iceberg, tangy mayo and plenty of sliced pickles on the side.
A tavern has stood in this red building since at least 1946. The current owner, Mike Lampros, bought it from his parents, Nick and Mary, a few years ago. The trucker hats famously pinned to the tavern's ceiling aren't going anywhere, but Lampros has made one change: By next summer, the tavern will have a large patio with additional seating in the back.
11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday; 10275 N.W. Helvetia Road; 503-647-5286
2. SKYLINE RESTAURANT
Times have changed since the first restaurant opened in this perch atop Portland's West Hills. The Speck, which opened in 1935, sold fried chicken at a time when Northwest Cornell Road was a fairly significant thoroughfare from Beaverton to St. Johns. There was even a gas station on the corner of this remote intersection with Skyline Boulevard.
The gas station is gone, and fried chicken quickly gave way to burgers, which come today much as they did in the middle of last century. A "butter-brushed" sesame-seed bun holds a seasoned patty, your choice of cheese, full leaves of iceberg lettuce, thin tomato and onion slices, crinkle-cut pickle slices and a healthy coat of mayo on the bottom bun.
"Two fries, two doubles, bacon, cheese," manager Frances Kang calls out while speaking on the phone last week. "We still call the orders back," she explains.
Skyline Restaurant opened a second restaurant, Skyline Burgers, on Northeast Broadway this year. But back on the hill, some things will never change.
"There's still always five or 10 people a day going, 'I'm lost, how do I get to the St. Johns Bridge?'" she says.
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Sundays; 1313 N.W. Skyline Blvd.; 503-292-6727; Facebook: Skyline Restaurant
3. CANYON GRILL
Canyon Grill opened three years ago, making it a relative newcomer on this list. But the small triangular shack on Canyon Road in Beaverton has already gathered plenty of fans.
The burger matches the classic space, decked out in ads for nickel hot dogs and pictures of classic cars.
Owners Parry and Opal Lawson buy Painted Hills beef and have it ground fresh several times a week. Each thicker-than-average burger comes on a French roll and is topped with your choice of Tillamook cheese with vegetables cut fresh daily.
For fans of the Canyon Grill burger who live in Portland, the couple just opened a second spot -- the Glisan Burger Barn and Grill -- on Northeast Glisan Street and 79th Avenue.
11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday; 8825 S.W. Canyon Road, Beaverton; 503-292-5131, thecanyongrill.com
4. MIKE'S DRIVE-IN
Burgerville, the Vancouver-based chain, is well-known for its commitment to local ingredients. But Burgerville isn't alone.
At Mike's Drive-in, your burger can come on a Dave's Killer Bread bun for 50 cents extra (the standard comes from Portland's Franz Bakery) and all burgers come with Tillamook cheese. Burger patties are made daily and vegetables are sliced fresh each morning.
Mike's, the 37-year-old mini chain, serves a tasty cheeseburger with light char and a faint pinkish hue, shredded iceberg lettuce, tomato, onion (raw or grilled) and pickle slices.
There are three Mike's locations, one each in Milwaukie, Oregon City and Portland's Sellwood neighborhood. Each has a classic look, with red and white paint and signature peaked roofs at the Sellwood and Oregon City locations.
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday; Sellwood: 1707 S.E. Tenino St., 503-236-4537; Milwaukie: 3045 S.E. Harrison St., 503-654-0131; Oregon City: 905 Seventh St., 503-656-5588 (Oregon City location closes one hour earlier); Facebook: Mike's Drive-In
5. GIANT DRIVE IN
With its A-frame roof, Giant Drive In could almost be mistaken for a ski cabin, tucked amid tall trees off Boones Ferry Road. But the restaurant's bright yellow sign, of a large man eating a large burger, lets drivers heading to and from downtown Lake Oswego know what they're in for.
Inside the bright space, the throwback burger comes on a nicely toasted bun, with a thin patty cooked medium-well, with melted American cheese, onions, tomatoes, shredded iceberg and mayo.
Bill and Gail Kreger opened Giant Drive In in a former Mr. Swiss, a bygone sandwich and soft-serve chain. Using custom ground sirloin -- never frozen -- the Kregers expanded the menu to 30 types of burgers, including the signature (and massive) giant. Order at your own risk.
10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 15840 Boones Ferry Road, Lake Oswego; 503-636-0255
This little trailer has sold burgers and hot dogs -- mostly hot dogs -- from its Milwaukie location since the 1930s. If you've ever driven past, you might remember it best for the sign mounted on its top, showing a long red dog outlined in neon.
And though Roake's is known for its long hot dogs -- local high school kids once called the place Long John's -- their burgers are a classic, too.
A quarter-pound burger patty comes with a grilled sesame-seed bun and melted American cheese, shredded iceberg, thin tomato slices, pickles and house mayo-based sauce on the bottom bun.
On the walls are key dates in Roake's history. According to one poster, in the 1970s, the trailer served 175,000 people each year.
10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 18109 S.E. McLoughlin Blvd., Milwaukie; 503-654-7075
7. HUMDINGER DRIVE-IN
"It's your first time here? How long have you been in Portland?"
That's a one-liner you might hear from the cashier when you walk into Humdinger Drive-In, a blink-and-you'll-miss-it Southwest Barbur Boulevard burger spot.
A restaurant has occupied this space since the late 1950s, but it's been Humdinger since the early 1980s, and the menu seems to have kept expanding since. There are burgers, of course, but also more than 40 milkshakes, as well as fried oysters and clam strips.
Stick to the burger, which comes on a soft sesame-seed bun holding a well-done patty layered between two slices of cheese, slices of tomato and plenty of pickles. It's served in a tight, memento-cluttered dining room small enough that the cashier can hand your food over the counter while you're sitting in one of the four booths.
11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 8250 S.W. Barbur Blvd.; 503-246-8132
On a recent night at Stanich's, the classic Northeast Portland sports tavern, a table of large guys were plowing through a few burgers. As they got up to leave, a server approached and asked the men -- players for the Portland State University football team -- to sign a school pennant.
The pennant was surely destined for Stanich's wall, where it would join hundreds of others -- some for sports teams at colleges, like Albertson, that have since changed names.
Stanich's first opened in 1949, and it's become one of Portland's burger standbys.
The burger comes with a hand-formed patty on a soft French roll with gooey American cheese, chopped iceberg, tomato and mayo on the bottom. It's a traditional burger (though I wouldn't mind a little more char on the patty), except for one twist: Instead of pickle slices, each burger comes with a spread of sweet relish on the bottom bun.
10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 4915 N.E. Fremont St.; 503-281-2322; stanichs.com
9. DEA'S IN & OUT
Dea's In & Out (no relation to the California In-N-Out burger chain) has been serving burgers in Gresham for more than 50 years.
The burger stand, with its long rectangular burgers, has moved once, onto Northeast Burnside Road, but little had changed inside.
Dea's still cooks everything to order, with the same thin burger patties. They still make their own flour-dusted buns in house as well, and serve each burger and tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, pickles, minced onion and their house sauce.
It's a time capsule. Walk inside on any given day and you'll see several generations of Dea's fans sharing a meal.
5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, 755 N.E. Burnside Road, Gresham; 503-665-3439; facebook.com/deasinandout
10. GEORGE'S GIANT HAMBURGERS
The draw at Tigard's George's isn't necessarily the burger -- with its beef fresh-ground daily -- it's the salad bar.
All of George's burgers, from the giant on down to more modest sizes, come unadorned, with a lightly seasoned burger patty and melted American cheese.
But, just inside the front door, there's an array of condiments and toppings, from fresh sliced vegetables to mayonnaise to pico de gallo salsa.
The real fun comes in stacking up your burger with fresh lettuce, or, for serious pickle fans, as many slices of dill or scoops of relish as you want.
11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11640 S.W. Pacific Highway, Tigard; 503-639-8029
-- Michael Russell
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